Entrance to the park is via the 18th century converted timber barn, which houses the Visitor Centre, the Seasons Restaurant, The Country Shop and an Exhibition Area. Just a few minutes walk away is the outlet that seems to have queues emanating from it throughout most of the day – the ice cream outlet.
Opened in 2001 by current proprietor John Byatt, the venue appears to be a honey pot for the realms of buzzing kids and families that descend daily on the park. With a wide range of visitors from school groups to mums and babies, families through to the elderly, outlet is a constant hive of activity.
“We were busy from the moment we opened, but after two years of being in existence we decided to change our ice cream to be 100% New Forest Ice Cream. Within days our turnover more than doubled and to be honest we have not looked back.”
The site sells the full range of ice cream from traditional scoop products, of which they stock twelve flavours, through to soft serve and the pre-wrapped impulse products, of which they have twenty one.
“There is no definition as to what people will go for. The children are as likely to go for scoop or soft serve as they are the children’s impulse products such as Yeti Mountain or the Super 5 Fruit Ice. We also offer the teddy top cones for soft serve which is extremely popular. When it comes to the impulse products, the Supreme is well-liked with adults whilst Mr Bobble, Super 5 and Party Push are hits with the children.”
Due to the importance of the brand, John uses a wide variety of point of sale material that is provided free by New Forest.
“It is extremely important to us that we can shout about the quality ice cream we serve. We use as much New Forest branding as possible as not only does it promote the quality that we use on site, but it also encourages people to make a decision to have an ice cream. People seem to have a loyalty to the brand, which is not noticeable with other companies. It is not uncommon for our local customers to be overheard telling their friends and relatives from further a field that ‘you must try a New Forest Ice Cream’. Very often the same family will come back 2-3 times a day, to try different flavours and types.”
Using a local company has not only been good for business, it is also key to the environmental message.
“All outlets on the park have a policy to source locally whenever possible, not only because it is greener, but also because it is good to support local business. Although we were the first outlet within the park to embrace the New Forest brand, virtually all the other sites including the restaurant have now converted, largely because they have seen the difference it has made and the fantastic service that we always receive.
Service is a key factor for John, and one that does not go unnoticed.
“We place our order on a daily basis in the safe knowledge that we know everything will arrive as required the following morning.”
For John, there is no doubt that changing to New Forest was the right decision.
“All in all we have a fantastic product - which our customers love; at fantastic prices – which we love; and receive a first class service - which is great for everyone! I wish I could say the same about all of our suppliers!”
For further information on New Forest Ice Cream please call 02380 871508 or visit http://www.nfic.co.uk
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New Forest Ice Cream are a dairy ice cream and frozen desserts manufacturer in hampshire, UK. Providing top quality ice cream products to businesses across the United Kingdom